IT is the must-have fashion for UK clothing companies as margins are squeezed

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IT is the must-have fashion for UK clothing companies as margins are squeezed

Business Focus is a weekly column providing at-a-glance statistics and commentary on spending priorities and trends in particular sectors. This week we look at the textile, leather, footwear and clothing industry.

Companies in the textiles, leather, footwear and clothing industries tend to spend above the UK average per desktop on IT. Large enterprises spend about 20% more, at £10,708, and smaller firms spend more than 40% more, averaging £5,438 per desktop.

The pressure to drive costs out of operations is particularly acute in this industry because, whether from the wholesale or retail perspective, most firms are facing soaring rent, energy and business rates, along with price deflation on the high street.

Key drivers are cheaper imports as a result of globalisation and less stringent trade regulation, causing firms to look for leaner, more distributed and flexible supply chains, and more strategic management of distribution and fulfilment channels. Outsourcing non-core IT to service suppliers, including network management, hardware support and application development, is also popular.

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